The 12th annual Carver County Youth Wood Duck Box Building Day will take place Saturday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event will take place at the Burns Excavating Shop, which is located at 3470 County Road 21, Mayer (2.5 miles north of State Highway 7).
Youth and their families will build up to 150 wood duck boxes free of charge (limit 1 per child, or 2 for family).
Other activities include a laser shoot game and an archery range.
Free hot dogs, chips, and pop will be provided for everyone.
Come and build a wood duck box with your child and introduce them to conservation.
The event is being sponsored by Burns Excavating, Carver County Pheasants Forever, Mayer Baseball Association, Watertown Rod and Gun Club, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Waconia Lions, Hamburg Hunting and Fishing Club, West Carver DU Committee Members, and the New Germany Fire Department.
Christian Deer Hunters Association event March 19 in Silver Lake
The Christian Deer Hunters Association will be hosting its annual Big Little Hunting and Fishing Expo and Auction Saturday, March 19 in Silver Lake.
The expo and auction will take place at the Silver Lake Auditorium, with the doors opening at 9 a.m.
Many exhibitors and seminars will be going on throughout the day.
For additional information on the expo, go to www.christiandeerhunters.org.
Watertown firearms safety training
Registration for Watertown firearms safety training will be Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club.
Classes will be March 24, 25, 29, 31, and April 4 and 7, with a field day being Saturday, April 9 at 8 a.m.
All classes will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
For additional information, go to www.watertownFST@yahoo.com, or contact Cory (763) 218-3228 or Patrick (612) 709-1243.
Seedlings still available from MN state forest nurseries
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) state forest nurseries have a wide variety of native, bare-root tree and shrub seedlings available to purchase for spring planting.
Tree seedlings, while typically used for reforestation, also are an excellent way to improve wildlife habitat, create shelterbelts, and improve air quality.
“One acre of ground can easily support 500 bare-root seedlings” said Craig VanSickle, DNR nurseries supervisor. By statute, the minimum seedling order is 500.
Seedlings vary in price from $90 to $290, depending on the species ordered.
By law, seedlings purchased from state forest nurseries may not be planted for ornamental purposes, nor can they be resold, given away or removed with roots attached for a period of 10 years from the date of purchase.
In addition, state forest nursery seedlings can only be planted in Minnesota.
The tree seedling order form and a list of available seedlings for sale can be found at www.mndnr.gov/forestry/nurseries.
To order seedlings, call the nursery tree sales office at 800-657-3767.
Checks and major credit cards are accepted. Interested individuals can also stop by their local DNR Forestry Office for ordering information.
Since 1933, Minnesota’s state forest nurseries have provided healthy, native stock for Minnesota plantings.
Seedlings grown from a local seed source are generally more adapted to prevailing and changing environmental conditions.
No change in Mille Lacs walleye slot, nothern pike regulation relaxed
From the DNR
Anglers who fish Lake Mille Lacs will need to follow the same walleye regulations as in 2010, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The season will open Saturday, May 14, with a regulation that will allow anglers to keep up to four walleyes less than 18 inches, which may include one trophy more than 28 inches.
Anglers must release all walleyes from 18 to 28 inches.
Starting July 15, if angler harvest is low enough to allow it, anglers may be allowed to keep walleyes up to 20 inches with one trophy more than 28 inches in the four fish limit.
All walleyes from 20 to 28 inches would then need to be released.
The slot would revert to four walleyes up to 18 inches with one more than 28 inches in the four fish limit on Dec. 1.
Any regulation changes would be posted at the accesses as well as on the DNR website.
“The walleye regulation is the same as last year and should provide anglers with ample opportunities to harvest some fish, very similar to last season,” said Dirk Peterson, DNR Fisheries chief. “The angling this winter has been pretty decent; anglers harvested nearly 24,000 pounds of walleye, which suggests a similarly decent bite for the open water season.”
For northern pike, the regulation will be a protected slot from 27 to 40 inches, with one trophy more than 40 inches allowed in the standard three fish possession limit.
This regulation is a change from the 24- to 36-inch slot limit that has been in effect since 2002.
The new pike regulation is in response to the last several years of minimal angler harvest, an increase in abundance of northern pike, and a desire to maximize the trophy potential of this fast-growing population of pike.
Mille Lacs pike regularly grow to sizes in excess of 40 inches.
The northern pike regulation printed in the 2011 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet does not reflect this change but is correct in the online version at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
“The new pike regulation increases anglers’ opportunities to harvest some of the smaller fish, while increasing the chances of being able to catch a true trophy northern pike,” said Peterson.
The combination of strong 2007 and 2008 year classes of walleye, now mostly 13-16 inches, will provide for a decent catch of eating sized walleyes for anglers to keep, while numerous year classes of older fish, now more than 18 inches, will provide for excellent catch and release experiences.
“With the rebounding of the Mille Lacs tullibee population in recent years, the larger fish have filled out and are now in very healthy condition,” Peterson said.
Last year, anglers caught more than 800,000 pounds of walleye and harvested 271,000 pounds (including 44,000 pounds of hooking mortality) under the same slot limit.
“These regulations continue to protect the long-term health of the fishery, allow excellent opportunity for anglers, and safeguard economic interests,” Peterson said. “The decision to maintain the same walleye regulation was made based on the best biological data as well as input from anglers and resort owners.”
Learn how to help MN’s shorelines
From the DNR
“Restore Your Shore” is a multimedia lakescaping program that shows landowners how to protect a natural shoreline or restore a degraded shore with a natural buffer, and it is now available online.
The program is located on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/restoreyourshore/index.html.
”This web version of the popular CD-ROM is the culmination of a 10-year process to make high- quality information about the values of natural shorelines to fish, wildlife and water quality accessible to all Minnesotans,” said DNR Nongame Wildlife Supervisor Carrol Henderson. “It teaches Minnesotans how to restore, enhance or conserve their own shorelines.”
Henderson, the author of “Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality,” adds that the new format enables the DNR to reach a much larger audience.
It also allows for modifications to content as new techniques and tools are developed.
Visitors can follow four different shoreland owners’ experiences as they share their shoreland transformation projects.
Worksheets and forms are also available to guide people step-by-step through the design and implementation process.
“This program will help people develop a deeper understanding of shoreland ecosystems and natural shoreland management, and to discover how others have resolved lakeshore problems similar to theirs,” Henderson said.
Visitors to the website will find solutions to common shoreline issues and select from more than 400 ecologically appropriate native plants on a searchable database.
Everyday activities can affect the health of the shoreland, Henderson said.
“For example, lawns that stretch to the shoreline without a buffer are detrimental to habitat for native animals,” he adds. “When we remove native vegetation from upland trees to underwater plants we destroy natural cover and water quality protection. And the chronic use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can contaminate the water and disrupt natural processes.”
DNR expects temporary road and trail closures in state forests
From the DNR
The upcoming spring thaw signals wet, soft road and trail conditions, which prompt the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to close some state forest roads and trails to vehicle traffic temporarily.
Those closures are expected to begin in the next few weeks.
“The spring thaw leads to soft soils, which may be susceptible to damage,” said Richard Peterson, acting recreation program coordinator for the DNR’s Division of Forestry. “We expect temporary closures to begin within the next couple of weeks, depending on local temperatures, precipitation and soil conditions. Generally, all roads and trails in a particular forest will be closed, but not always. Those that can handle motor vehicle traffic will remain open.”
Signs will be posted at entry points and at parking lots in state forests, but the DNR urges forest users to check on road and trail conditions before planning trips to avoid being surprised and disappointed by temporary closures.
Road and trail condition information is updated every Thursday by 2 p.m. at mndnr.gov/trailconditions.
This information is also available from the DNR Information Center, (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.